Los Angeles always seems strange in the rain. Jim Morrison once may have said something to that effect. Then again, Jim Morrison once declared himself the lizard king and was known to drink blood at wiccan ceremonies, so maybe he wasn't the best best guy to take advice from. But he was right in this instance. On those rare moments when actual weather interrupts the city's 340 days of blue sky and white light, LA takes on an unnaturally sinister tone more commonly found in film noir than in actual everyday reality.
About a week ago, a howling gale shook the town, dumping buckets of sweaty, oily rain all over the city. Everyone panicked. Drivers either ignored the inclement weather to skid into jagged wrecks, or else they inched forward at five miles per--crawling timidly and fearfully like they'd never seen a drop of precipitation in their lives. It was the sort of storm that made you feel like you were trespassing on the earth. The blocks were flooded and each mile I drove, a deluge of hissing spit battered my windshield. On my stereo, the tweaked out, sugar rush of Los Campesinos giggled and I was struck with the epiphany that at that moment, there was nothing I wanted to hear less.
I wanted storm music. Lightning, thunder and wrath of the gods type shit. Fuck all that twee noise, I wanted to bump In the Future (and watch Back to the Future but that's a separate, ongoing thing that we must discuss at a later date). So as the wind shook my car all across the road, the sky pitched and cackling, Black Mountain's ferocious assault rained down upon my head. The first track, is called "Stormy High." It might be the most appropriately named thing you'll hear all year. Another song is fittingly called "Wild Wind." The album itself is a brooding, towering heavy work of psychedelia. A drug-addled, shambling record that re-shapes Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Led Zep, into an unsettling, gorgeous mass. To paraphrase the words of another man often compared to the late lizard king, it's enough to make you want to make it rain.